A Stranger on the Beach
by Michele Campbell
There is a stranger outside Caroline’s house.
Her spectacular new beach house, built for hosting expensive parties and vacationing with the family she thought she’d have. But her husband is lying to her and everything in her life is upside down, so when the stranger, Aiden, shows up as a bartender at the same party where Caroline and her husband have a very public fight, it doesn’t seem like anything out of the ordinary.
As her marriage collapses around her and the lavish lifestyle she’s built for herself starts to crumble, Caroline turns to Aiden for comfort…and revenge. After a brief and desperate fling that means nothing to Caroline and everything to him, Aiden’s obsession with Caroline, her family, and her house grows more and more disturbing. And when Caroline’s husband goes missing, her life descends into a nightmare that leaves her accused of her own husband’s murder.
Caroline Stark has just finished putting her own personal touch on her brand new beach house when she sees a guy standing on the beach, staring at her house. After some (rather public) marital drama, she spots the same guy working in the local bar and gets talking. One thing leads to another and Caroline finds herself with a besotted stalker called Aidan.
I enjoyed the start of this book and I was really intrigued at where it was going, but at slightly over 400 pages, unfortunately I found the story to drag. It took me ages to get through this book and I have to admit that I skimmed a good chunk in the middle so the last 75-100 pages are really what saved this for me.
The story is told from two alternating points of view, both contradicting one another. Both Caroline and Aidan are unreliable, mostly unlikable, narrators and because of this you can never really tell who is telling the truth. You’d read one side of the story and then have the same actions re-told by the other but with some major differences. I wouldn’t say this book was heart-racing, but there were still plenty of times where the suspense was high and you were left questioning what was truly going on.
The plot was twisty and certainly clever, but it lacked a wow factor needed for me to absolutely love it. And I have to say, while I may sound a prude, the sex scenes in this were a bit much for my morning commute! Eek!
I haven’t read anything else by author Michele Campbell but I’ve heard good things so will be checking out her other work soon.
Overall rating: “A Stranger on the Beach” is a twisty thriller by a well reviewed author. The story is unique and mostly enjoyable but I found it was a little too slow paced and more of an okay read for me. 3 stars!
Thank you to Readers First for sending me a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.